It's the highest point in Paris and one of the best neighbourhoods to capture the soul of the French capital.More Paris
The winding cobbled streets of Montmarte have been the scene of beheadings, notably of Saint Denis, and in 1814 Cossack soldiers fired on the city below.
But it is also a place of creation; the Jesuit order was founded here and those trigger-happy Cossack soldiers introduced the term bistro (Russian for "quickly") to Paris.
In the mid-19th century, the neighbourhood was a haven for some who became the world's best artists, from van Gogh, through Matisse and Toulouse-Lautrec to Picasso and Dali. Their works are commemorated both in galleries and in the cheap knock-offs painted by artists in the neighbourhood square, the Place du Tertre.
The roads are skirted by terraced houses, bars and restaurants and reach a stunning apex at the magnificent Sacre Coeur (or Basilica of the Sacred Heart) constructed to commemorate French losses in the 1871 Franco-Prussian war.
It's an extraordinary edifice with a huge white dome, intricate arches and sneering gargoyles and, like the neighbourhood over which it looms, is extremely photogenic.
• For bookings phone your local travel agent or Tempo Holidays on 1300 558 987, email: email@example.com , or tempoholidays.com.Niall McIlroy visited France as a guest of Air Asia X and Tempo Holidays.
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